The story of Escorial is one of remarkable rediscovery with a history stretching through the centuries. Escorial’s heritage, authenticity, and rarity combine to make it the pinnacle of luxury today.
In the fourteenth century Spanish Royalty took possession of a unique flock originating in the North African Mahgreb to nurture on the Escorial plains north west of Madrid. This flock became known as the royal Escorial flock when in the sixteenth century King Phillip Il built the El Escorial palace overlooking the vast plains outside Madrid. It was here these special sheep were nurtured and protected, their soft fleeces producing the most exquisite fabrics of this era.
The breed was nearly lost during the Napoleonic wars, but for the foresight of a Scottish woman, Eliza Furlonge who took 120 sheep to Tasmania, Australia in 1829 the breed continued. In 1987 the Radford family brought 40 lambs from Australia to the rolling grasslands of New Zealand’s South Island. Today, the only direct descendants of the original Escorial flocks can be found grazing on natural pastures in pockets of New Zealand’s South Island and southern parts of Australia. Traceable to origin Escorial is one of the world’s rarest and most exclusive natural fibres, environmentally sustainable and ecologically friendly.
I first discovered the attributes of Escorial fibre more than forty years ago. Since then my passion has never altered, to provide a customer with an exceptional Escorial product from a sustainable, traceable to origin recognised source. Our partners who work with Escorial are artisans of timeless quality, design, weaving, knitting, and finishing. Their understanding of how to reach for perfection with luxury natural fibres has enabled Escorial to gain worldwide recognition. Through the commitment of all those involved it is my pleasure to play a role in preserving a piece of history. The Escorial difference is in the heart of the fibre, performing as a naturally coiled spring. This flexible characteristic creates a fabric that is incomparable in drape and resilience with a distinctive soft handle, delivering a garment of comfort and performance.
- Peter Radford, Founder, Escorial.